Ukraine once was home to the largest population of Jews in the Russian Empire, and on the eve of the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941 it was the largest Jewish community in Europe. As such, Ukraine was one of the most important centers of Jewish life destroyed during the Holocaust. Between 1941 and 1944, some 1.4 million Jews were killed there. Yet, little is known about this chapter of Holocaust history. Drawing on new archival sources from the former Soviet Union, eyewitness accounts, postwar criminal investigations, and the extensive holdings of the United states Holocaust Memorial Museum, this book spans the prewar, wartime, and postwar eras and covers the terrain of almost all of modern Ukraine. The topics addressed – including Jewish-Ukrainian relations, forgotten ghettos and camps, interethnic violence, crimes of military and civil authorities, and the German-Romanian alliance – provide a detailed backdrop to the setting in which the Nazis realized their radically anti-Semitic agenda. This volume brings together researchers from Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States, and sheds new light on the critical themes of perpetration, collaboration, Jewish-Ukrainian relations, testimony, rescue, and Holocaust remembrance in Ukraine.
Contributors are Andrej Angrick, Omer Bartov, Karel C. Berkhoff, Ray Brandon, Martin Dean, Dennis Deletant, Frank Golczewski, Alexander Kruglov, Wendy Lower, Dieter Pohl, and Timothy Snyder.
“The Shoah in Ukraine presents cutting-edge research from a stellar group of international experts. Neglected by scholars for too long, the Holocaust in Ukraine took particular – and bitterly painful -- forms. This remarkable book illuminates the intertwined lives and deaths of Ukrainians, Jews, Poles, Russians, Romanians, Germans, and Gypsies, past and present, in this contested part of Europe.”
— Doris L. Bergen, author of War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust
“Bitter memories and the specter of the Holocaust continue to haunt Jewish-Ukrainian relations. . . . Only a full admission of the disturbing facts of the past and a full respect for the perpetuation of the memory of the former Jewish communities may at least partly exorcise the guilt and open a new page [in their] mutual relations. Perhaps this book may serve as one of the guiding lights in this direction.”
— Jerusalem Post
“An excellent volume that approaches the Holocaust in Ukraine from a variety of angles. . . . Highlights the complexity of the ‘Final Solution’ in Ukraine.”
— Jeff Rutherford
“Deserving special note are Timothy Snyder’s chapter on Volhynian Jewry for its elegant and diligent use of both general and Jewish sources; and Karel C. Berkhoff ’s sensitive analysis of the various testimonies of Dina Pronicheva, who survived the nightmarish Babi Yar massacre. Omer Bar-Tov concludes the book with an overview of how the Jewish facets of Eastern Galicia’s history are systematically ignored and erased by Ukrainians in whose historical consciousness there is no room for how Jews lived and were murdered in a region that was a center of Jewish culture and religion.”
— Jewish Book World, Summer 5769/2009
“A useful introduction to a very complex topic, but it also highlights the work remaining for scholars in Ukraine and elsewhere and the continuing need for further international scholarly collaboration.”
— Sean Martin, The Russian Review
“This collection is a worthy enterprise that offers new insights into the Holocaust on the territory of contemporary Ukraine. . . . The investigation of the Holocaust in Ukraine, as well as in Belarus to the north where some 900,000 Jews died, is finally under way.”
— American Historical Review
“Rarely have I read an anthology that is of such consistently high quality. . . . The writing is almost uniformly excellent and the production by Indiana University Press is of the highest quality. . . . The editors have produced a riveting volume that should attract wide scholarly and general audiences.”
— Slavic Review, Spring 2010
“[This book] . . . represents a major contribution to Holocaust historiography.”
— Dan Stone, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK, Jewish History, Jan. 9, 2010 online
“Written by experts in their fields and accompanied by excellent maps and illustrations, all chapters and the editors’ introduction are of very high quality. . . . this volume lays the groundwork for all further study of the Holocaust in Ukraine.”
— Helmut Langerbein, University of Texas at Brownsville, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 24.1 2010
Ray Brandon, a freelance editor, translator, and researcher based in Berlin, is a former editor at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, English edition.
Wendy Lower is Assistant Professor of History at Towson University in Maryland and Research Fellow at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany. She is author of Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine.